BY JOHN BOHNENKAMP
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison’s baseball doubleheader sweep of Mount Pleasant on Monday night looked big on the scoreboard.
But there were a lot of little things here and there in the 15-0, 14-4 rout of the Panthers.
The Bloodhounds (11-2 overall, 7-1 Southeast Conference) extended their winning streak to seven games and kept pace with Burlington at the top of the conference standings heading into Thursday’s home doubleheader with the Grayhounds.
Fort Madison dominated the opener with a seven-run third inning and a seven-run fourth to back the one-hit outing of pitcher Matt Hopper. The Bloodhounds trailed 4-1 in the second game before they got six runs in the fourth inning and seven in the fifth.
Fort Madison’s offense wore down the Panthers (2-11, 1-7). The Bloodhounds drew 12 walks in the first game, six in the second.
“We really put the pressure on,” Fort Madison coach Ron Walker said. “When you’re taking at-bats of seven, eight, nine pitches, that adds up.”
The Bloodhounds kept the second game close after the Panthers scored all of their runs in the second inning.
Starting pitcher Reiburn Turnbull got a strikeout to end the second inning. Reliever Vasin Thurman got a strikeout with the bases loaded to end the third inning. A line-drive double play ended the fourth inning, and catcher Kane Williams threw out Jake Ensminger trying to steal second base after a leadoff walk in the fifth.
“The big part of that second game, and that’s what we talked about out there, is that we’re a good team, but we’re not a good enough team to always overcome our own mistakes,” Walker said. “We couldn’t find the strike zone early, we didn’t trust ourselves on a pitch-out call, we didn’t compete well in the (batter’s) box.
“After that, it was just big plays, and we started executing, started playing baseball.”
Fort Madison took the lead in the fourth. The first six hitters in the inning came in to score, with Landes Williams’ two-run single being the big hit of the inning.
Williams had a two-run double in the fifth, and then Vasin Thurman’s RBI single ended the game on the 10-run rule.
Garrett Hannum drove in three runs in the first game. All of the runs in the fourth inning came without the benefit of a hit — the Bloodhounds had eight walks and had two batters hit by pitches.
Fort Madison plays a home doubleheader with Class 4A Davenport North on Wednesday before playing host to another 4A team in the Grayhounds.
“It’s a big week,” Walker said. “We finish with back-to-back doubleheaders with Class 4A teams, so this is a big week in our schedule, to see where we’re at. When the rubber hits the pavement, we can’t take anyone lightly.”